Director Steven S. DeKnight Reveals How He Changed ‘Pacific Rim Uprising’ After Test Screenings

     March 25, 2018

With Pacific Rim Uprising now playing in theaters, a few days ago I sat down with director Steven S. DeKnight to talk about the sequel. Unlike most press junkets that take place an at area hotel, Universal and Legendary went all out for Pacific Rim Uprising and built some amazing set ups using props from the movie for the interviews. It was like stepping inside a location from the film. While it’s expensive and time consuming, I wish more studios did stuff like this for their films.

During the interview, Steven S. DeKnight talked about what he learned from test screenings/friends and family screenings that impacted the finished film, how the montage prologue was added as a result of those early screenings, and why Charlie Hunnam couldn’t return for the sequel but could be back for Pacific Rim 3.


Image via Universal Pictures

As most of you know, Steven S. DeKnight directed the sequel when Guillermo del Toro decided to focus on The Shape of Water. The Pacific Rim sequel stars John Boyega as Jake Pentecost, the son of Idris Elba’s character from the first movie, and the story takes place 10 years after the events of Pacific Rim. The Jaeger program has now evolved and expanded into a massive global defense force after the Battle of the Breach, which comes in handy when the Kaiju threat returns. The film also stars Scott Eastwood, Cailee Spaeny, Tian Jing, Adria Arjona and Rinko Kikuchi.

Check out what Steven S. DeKnight had to say in the player above and below is exactly what we talked about followed by the official synopsis.

Steven S. DeKnight:

  • What did he learn from test screenings/friends and family screenings that impacted the finished film?
  • Talks about how the montage prologue was added as a result of those early screenings.
  • How the film mentions but doesn’t reveal what happened to the Riley Becket character (Charlie Hunnam)

pacific-rim-uprising-socialHere’s the official synopsis for Pacific Rim Uprising:

The globe-spanning conflict between otherworldly monsters of mass destruction and the human-piloted super-machines built to vanquish them was only a prelude to the all-out assault on humanity in Pacific Rim Uprising.

John Boyega (Star Wars: The Force Awakens) stars as the rebellious Jake Pentecost, a once-promising Jaeger pilot whose legendary father gave his life to secure humanity’s victory against the monstrous “Kaiju.” Jake has since abandoned his training only to become caught up in a criminal underworld. But when an even more unstoppable threat is unleashed to tear through our cities and bring the world to its knees, he is given one last chance to live up to his father’s legacy by his estranged sister, Mako Mori (Rinko Kikuchi)—who is leading a brave new generation of pilots that have grown up in the shadow of war. As they seek justice for the fallen, their only hope is to unite together in a global uprising against the forces of extinction.

Jake is joined by gifted rival pilot Lambert (The Fate of the Furious’ Scott Eastwood) and 15-year-old Jaeger hacker Amara (newcomer Cailee Spaeny), as the heroes of the PPDC become the only family he has left. Rising up to become the most powerful defense force to ever walk the earth, they will set course for a spectacular all-new adventure on a towering scale.

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